Is the police meltdown in full effect? Not a day goes by, of late, without news of some scandal, brutality, or murder coming from one of the valley police agencies. It's not just here either, across the country there appears to be a rise in the reports of increasing violence and abuse coming from the authorities, much of it coming to light because the people witnessing these incidents are recording it, sharing it on the internet, and a corporate news outlet eventually catches wise and reports on it.
In no case is this more clear than the murder of Oscar Grant, an unarmed man shot and killed by Johannes Mehserle, an Oakland transit cop, on a BART platform in the early hours of new year's day 2009. A friend, and activist from the Los Angeles solidarity efforts in the Grant case, is in town and is giving a presentation and showing a video on Oscar Grant's case to commemorate the annual October 22 national day against police brutality (albeit a day late, there was a scheduling conflict with the event being hosted on the 22nd). This will also be a good opportunity for anyone interested in meeting up and networking with others who are also interested in organizing and fighting back against the police.
If there's one lesson I've learned over the years of agitating against the police and in support of community control, it's that reform is a failure. Whether in the form of a citizen review board, or sensitivity training for officers, these are superficial changes to an institution that was created to protect the rich and their property, and to keep poor people down by force, when necessary. When we say we have to abolish the police, that includes this whole stinking system, the bureaucrats, politicians, and capitalists who demand social peace maintained by the police, so that workers go to work, pay the rent and bills, and line the pockets of everyone who controls where we sleep, what goods we use, and where we travel.
As anarchists, we having nothing but contempt for the social peace of the state, achieved through coercion and violence, which is why when we demand justice for those murdered by cops, we are demanding the abolition of those who seek to control and dominate.
A sign at a recent protest against killer Phoenix cop Richard Chrisman
The statement below was written up by the organizer of Saturday's Oscar Grant event in Phoenix, if you're interested in putting armed authoritarians in their place, this event is a good start.
STOP POLICE BRUTALITY!
THE YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE EXECUTION OF OSCAR GRANT SHOCKED THE WORLD--WE HAVE A REAL CHANCE TO MAKE SURE THE COP WHO MURDERED OSCAR GRANT SERVES PRISON TIME --COME HELP MAKE IT HAPPEN!!
Showing of the Film, "Operation Small Axe"
Discussion of Police Brutality and the Oscar Grant Shooting
Moderated by Elizabeth Venable of the LA Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant & AZ Immigrants Rights Activist
Saturday, October 23 • 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Conspire Coffee Shop and Art Gallery
901 N. 5th St., Phoenix, AZ
Oscar Grant was an unarmed 22 year old father who was shot in the back by police even though he was fully restrained by two officers and unarmed. The shooting was captured on videotape by multiple people who were on the Oakland BART train.
The officer who shot Grant, Johannes Mehserle, was the first police officer to be tried for Murder for an on-duty offense in the state of California. Immediately before the shooting, one of the officers restraining Grant, Tony Pirrone called Grant the N-word multiple times.
The videos spread throughout the internet and Oakland residents became very angry at what they viewed as the execution of an unarmed man. You can see the video on Youtube.
The Murder trial of Mehserle was moved from Oakland to Los Angeles so that the jury would not be "biased". Judge Perry-- who the case was assigned to-- was the same judge that let off 81 corrupt officers in the RAMPART scandal. There were no African American jurors. The LA
Coalition worked directly with Oscar's family and friends to raise awareness when the trial of Mehserle, the officer who shot Grant, was moved from Oakland to Los Angeles.
Mehserle was convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter--with a weapons enhancement that could get him prison time. However the family of Oscar grant fears that the weapons enhancement will be thrown out so that Mehserle does not have to face prison time.
The sentencing is coming in November and it is critical that advocates pressure the Justice Department to investigate the court proceedings and ensure that the weapons enhancement is not thrown out.
IF THE WEAPONS ENHANCEMENT IS THROWN OUT HE WILL NOT GO TO PRISON.
We will have postcards to sign and send to the Justice Department and Judge Perry. We need pressure from the whole US to make it happen!
ARIZONA CAN HELP CALIFORNIA GET JUSTICE
PUT COPS WHO EXECUTE BEHIND BARS!